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project: BDR is a motorsports team and group of friends in the Washington, DC area. Our primary focus is autocross, but many of us also do track events. And all of us love cars.

Why “project” BDR?

Answers.com defines “project” as “an undertaking requiring concerted effort.”

project:BDR is an undertaking seeking both to have fun and to be competitive. Having fun is easy, but being competitive usually does require concerted effort.  So that’s the high level meaning.

At a different level, project:BDR is comprised of a bunch of smaller projects. One such project is John’s undertaking to make his 1991 MR2 a reliable car.

It was purchased with 176K miles for an excellent price – no issues there. Any seventeen year old car is going to have some stuff that isn’t quite right. That’s part of the fun of owning such a car – stuff goes wrong, you fix it, and you sit back and enjoy your quasi-restored car.  You buy a new caliper (or whatever). You tell yourself: this is the last caliper I’ll ever need. No matter what else happens, I’ve got the caliper issue handled.

Project Make MR2 Stop Leaking Oil has made good progress. Even though large tracts of the engine and many old and famous parts have fallen or may fall into the grip of Oil Leak, we shall not flag or fail. We shall go to the end, we shall defend the engine, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight in the PCV hose (leak #1), we shall fight in the valve cover gasket (leak #2), we shall fight in the oil pan (leak #3), we shall fight in the dipstick (leak #4), we shall fight in the distributor (leak #5) – we shall never surrender.

With the engine well at hand, John moved on to the brakes. The rotors were old and pretty beaten up, and the pads were unknowns. Brake parts are pretty cheap so it seemed like a good opportunity to freshen things up. Well, it turns out the rear right caliper was seized. The brake pads that came off that corner were less than half as thick as the ones at the other three corners, a dead giveaway (that and the exceedingly high temperatures coming off that corner of the car after a simple trip around the block).

Here’s where that “project” thing comes in. A normal person would see this, order a right rear caliper, install it, bleed the brakes and call it a day. But someone who is working on a project sees this as an opportunity to restore something else. When it was finished, John had ordered four remanufactured Toyota calipers, as well as a set of stainless steel brake lines (legal in stock class for 1991 and before cars). John’s rationalization: “Well, I was going to have to bleed the brakes anyway… ”

This is one of many of project:BDR’s subprojects. These include:

  • Kevin’s “My car burns oil like whoa” project
  • Neal’s “Unholy marriage of domestic and foreign technology” project
  • Slava and Mei’s “If we get enough MKI MR2′s together maybe they’ll start breeding” project

So, here’s wishing everyone the best with their projects in 2008. May your stock parts fail in convenient ways that offer opportunities for upgrades. Cheers!

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